By Robert Asketill
We have had to listen via the media on the success of the European-inspired Arab Spring but which, looked at sensibly by those of us with long personal experience with the Arab and African problems, knew could lead to disaster . This is certainly so for the poor and uneducated masses who have now found themselves homeless, on the edge of starvation, waterless and with guns appearing in place of the digging tool so desperately needed.
Yet the voices of those who created the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ can still be heard from their luxurious vastly expensive banqueting conferences, boasting of success and of being well on the way to creating a better world. We are told that for every world power leader at these numerous conferences, he or she has forty or more journalist and camera teams in tow and with this complicated invasion of thousands for only a couple of days, in every case there has been left debts and confusion for the local hotels and tourism trade. But no matter; this is the “Arab Spring”, or is it?
Roderick Liddle who is an associate editor of Britain’s ‘Spectator’ magazine and former editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme brings us closer. He writes: “Have you seen much on the BBC news about the persecution and indeed murder of Syria’s Christian population by the liberal-minded and agreeable rebel forces who are not at all Islamist maniacs allied to al-Qaeda? Nope, me neither. There was a short report in April about the Christians fearing that they might be ‘caught in the middle’ of the fighting— in much the same way, I suppose, that Bosnian Muslims were somehow ‘caught in the middle’ between the Serbs and, er, themselves. There was no suggestion that the rebels might, for some mysterious reason, have it in for the Christians: this wouldn’t fit the template for the BBC’s coverage.
I saw nothing on the BBC a week or so back about Christians being ordered out of the town of Qusair by the local Islamist rebel commander, and either fleeing to Damascus or Lebanon or being shot while their churches were occupied and destroyed. The Vatican complained long and loud but I don’t believe its protestations reached as far as Shepherd’s Bush. Maybe it was on, and I missed it. But I don’t think so because I would have remembered a piece of journalism from the BBC which suggested that the rebels were anything other than brave, secular students and academics fighting with their bare hands to overthrow fascism. I haven’t seen one of those pieces yet, but one lives in hope.